Russia to fight opposition move to take Syria's UN seat

By REUTERS
March 29, 2013 00:32

 
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UNITED NATIONS - Russia vowed on Thursday to oppose an expected push by the Syrian opposition to take over Syria's seat at the United Nations and predicted that any Syrian National Coalition bid at the world body would fail.

Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, made the comment to reporters after Moscow criticized the Arab League for giving Syria's seat to the opposition at a league summit. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Arab League had abandoned hope for a peaceful end to Syria's 2-year civil war.

"We'll oppose it very strongly," Churkin said in response to a question about a likely Syrian opposition move in New York to follow its success in gaining Arab League recognition.

"But I don't think it's going to happen because ... most of the members of the United Nations are responsible members ... that value this institution," he said. "I think they understand that if something of this sort were to happen it would really undercut the standing of the United Nations."

"You do not simply seat opposition groups who have gone through no proper process of legitimization," he said. "We need to have legitimate authorities."

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